Before Chris Benoit killed himself and his family, the Drug Enforcement Administration knew he was an “excessive purchaser of injectable steroids,” documents show.
According to a June 29 search warrant affidavit posted on The Smoking Gun, Benoit’s physician, Dr. Phil Astin, prescribed Benoit, on average, “a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids … every three to four weeks” from May 2006 to May 2007.
Astin surrendered in Atlanta Monday after being charged with improperly dispensing painkillers and other drugs, his lawyer said.
According to a seven-count indictment, Astin dispensed drugs including Percocet, Xanax, Lorcet and Vicoprofen between April 2004 and September 2005 to recipients identified by the initials O.G. and M.J., the Associated Press reports.
The initials of WWE star Benoit were not listed.
A sealed criminal complaint was also filed, and a law enforcement official close to the case told the AP that case involves steroids.
Authorities say Benoit killed his wife Nancy and their 7-year-old son Daniel before hanging himself the weekend of June 23.
Astin’s office was raided twice by drug agents shortly after the deaths of Benoit and his family. Benoit, who was a longtime friend of Astin’s, visited his office on June 22, the day authorities believe Benoit killed his wife.
Astin has prescribed testosterone for Benoit in the past, but hasn’t said what, if anything, he prescribed during Benoit’s last visit. Anabolic steroids were found in Benoit’s home, leading officials to wonder whether the drugs played a role in the killings. (Toxicology tests on Benoit’s body have not yet been completed.)
Federal agents have taken over the probe into whether Astin improperly prescribed testosterone and other drugs to Benoit, while state prosecutors and police are overseeing the death investigation, the AP reports.
Astin “is doing about as good as can be expected,” his lawyer, Manny Arora, told the AP Monday. “He’s disappointed and surprised.”
As for the raids on Astin’s office, his lawyer said, “It would be our belief and understanding that the federal authorities were looking for patient files and the computers that the files may be contained in to determine if prescriptions were written improperly.”
Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said his department might never find a motive in the Benoit case: “I think it will always be undetermined as to ‘Why?’ I think it’s because there can’t be any satisfactory reason why you kill a 7-year-old.”
Benoit’s father, who has said he was anxious to see the results of toxicology tests, said Monday, “It’s impossible to come up with a rational explanation for a very irrational act. That’s my feeling. Let the cards fall where they fall, we have no control over it at this point. It’s just impossible to come up with a rational explanation for what happened.”
But Ballard ruled out one possible factor: that Daniel may have suffered from Dwarf Syndrome or Fragile X Syndrome. There were reports that Benoit may have injected growth hormones into his son because of this.
Daniel’s family denies that he suffered from either condition, Ballard said. As a result of the family’s concerns, the Fayette County Sheriff’s investigators and the District Attorney’s Office have inquired into this matter. A source having access to certain of Daniel’s medical reports reviewed those reports, and they do not mention any pre-existing mental or physical impairment. Reports from Daniel’s educators likewise contradict the claims that Daniel was physically undersized. The educators report that Daniel graduated kindergarten and was prepared to enter the first grade on par with the other students.”